Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary First Critical Wildlife Habitat in India

A Male Hoolock Gibbon
Ramki Sreenivasan
The Hoolock gibbon is India’s only ape and amongst the 25 most endangered primates in the world. 

Assam’s Hoollongoppar Gibbon Sanctuary is set to become India’s first Critical Wildlife Habitat. Under a new concept floated by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), for an area to be included in that category, the area must be free of encroachments and tribal settlements and should have a well demarcated boundary. By categorizing the area as a Critical wildlife habitat, the ministry hopes to create inviolate spaces for wildlife. Gibbon wildlife sanctuary has no tribal settlements or encroachers, but it does have an army base which takes up 4 sq kms out of the 20 sq kms of the park. Gibbon sanctuary is the only area in the country where seven primate species co-exist. These are the Hoolock gibbons, Bengal slow loris, Assamese and rhesus macaques, pig-tailed macaques, capped langurs and stump-tailed macaques.

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